Monday, January 28, 2008

Living, Loving and Making a Difference

So many things to ponder - and I find myself pondering things often.  I know that though I pray often throughout my day that I need to spend more time in the word - alone.  Why is that so hard for me at times?  Why haven't I learned this lesson that keeps coming back in my life - over and over again.  I know that the days I start with God are richer and more peaceful so why do I let things get in the way of that?  Why is this still a struggle?  I do know that when I pay attention, that it is a good reminder to be patient with my children when they struggle over and over with the same thing(s). 

For those that know me in real life, you know I'm not a morning person - and never have been.  I love the quiet of the night and waking up early is tough.  I don't find my mind is very alert then either.  So while I love the idea of an early morning quiet time, my body fights it all the way - and probably my mind/attitude too!  Sounds like a discipline problem doesn't it?  I do think my day starts better though when I spend time with God.   

A friend sent me this video/poem called The Dash   I think you will be encouraged by it.  I know I was.  I know that I want to make a difference.  I want to live my life fully - loving those that are around me!  I know that God has called me to be a Mom and that raising my children is an incredible task.  I am so thankful to have this calling!  Some days I feel like I've blown it - like yesterday when one of my children confronted me about complaining about his/her behavior to a friend on the phone.  Ouch!  I need to watch my tongue.  A lesson that I think is never fully learned. 

I think that the role of a Mom is an important one - and not limited to just serving your family.  I think this is true of whatever God has called you to do in your life.  I think at times we watch others who are "going" out to serve and think that they are somehow doing more.  There are many other ways we can serve - praying for others is one of my favorites.  I know that I personally have been incredibly blessed by the willingness of others to pray - and even to fast - for Eliana and our family.  God has touched my heart many times through this selfless and faithful act of others.  There are other ways I have found to serve during this season of life as well.   

  • Encouragment - This can come in so many forms from a word well spoken, a note/email or even just a hug.  Don't underestimate the power of encouragment to help someone get out of a hole or even have the desire to then encourage others in their lives. 

  • Service - There are so many opportunities in our families, neighborhoods, churches and communities to serve.  We just need to open our eyes to them.  My daughter Rebecca is especially good at doing this.  She has been bringing bags of food and other things to a homeless man that we often see on our way to church.  I love her heart for him and the way that she remembers him.  Just this week she decided she wanted to make Valentines for children that may not get them.  We are hoping to make bags with a card and candy to take to a local group of children.  I love that Rebecca doesn't feel bound by her circumstances, but looks for ways to work within them. 

  • Financial - There are always groups that need our support.  We have found two that we wanted to support this year.  I wanted to share them with you. 

The first is Reece's Rainbow.  This is a group that helps facilitate the adoption of children in foreign countries with Down syndrome.  There are pictures of many of these children.  One of my friends who has adopted children with Down syndrome once told me that she wanted to help people see value in these beautiful children.  I can understand that.  I know that before Eliana was born that I couldn't image choosing Down syndrome.  Now though, I can.  Would I have chosen for Eliana to have Down syndrome - no.  Though my life is so much richer for it now! 

Eliana has brought such joy, love and blessing to our lives - I can't imagine life without her.  I'm so thankful she is ours!  At the same time, I realize that others may look at us and not see the blessing of this special child - I hope that won't be the case though.  I hope that we will live our lives in such a way that they will see that there is great worth in each child created by God. 

The second group is called Kiva.  This groups helps make loans to people in foreign countries who are trying to start or build their business.  You look through the profiles of those wanting a loan and then can choose to make a loan in $25 increments.  You will receive a note when the loan is made - and I'm not sure if you get any in the midst of the loan period.  (There is a specified time for each loan.)  When the loan is repaid, you will get your money back and then can loan it to someone else.  I think this is a neat way to have a heart for those in other countries and to appreciate and encourage the work that they are doing.  The repayment rate for the loans is very high too.  We have just made our first loan last month thanks to a gift from friends and it will be a neat thing to follow along. 

I hope none of this sounds preachy.  Just wanted to share some of what is in my heart.  I am thankful for the work that God calls each of us to do - and it does look different for each of us. 

With love,